A new variant of COVID is developing around the world. Scientists are concerned about this new variant of COVID in us with a high number of mutations. This variant was first spotted in Botswana. Identification of this new variant of COVID is b11529 as a variant of concern named omicron.
Why New variant of COVID is dangerous
1. Mutations on the spike protein
Omicron carries unusual changes to spike compared to other COVID variants. The spike protein is composed of a chain of amino acids with 23 sugar molecules. Omicron can change its biochemical and molecular properties according to the host cell.
2. The number of mutations in this virus
Scientists are warning of a new covid variant it has them concerned because it is an extremely high number of mutations the b11529 variant has 32 mutations in the spike protein the part of the various
3. Spreading speed is very high
WHO said in their official statement that preliminary evidence suggests Omicron also poses a higher risk of reinfection than other variants of concern.
Does vaccine is effective against Omicron?
We have witnessed many variants of COVID since its origin. Delta variant of COVID was also a matter of concern. But our vaccines are effective against the DELTA variant.
But Omicron raises a certain level of concern, not just because it has more mutations in its spike protein, over 30 mutations, but also because some of those mutations are the same mutations as the other 4 variants of concern.
One vaccine may be effective on one mutation but the same will be not effective on another mutation. So, it raises serious concern over the effectiveness of vaccines.
New variant of COVID in US?
To date, there are no affirmed cases here. In any case, it’s inevitable. We do realize that it went to Botswana and advanced toward Hong Kong and Belgium. So it could be in the US.
An example from the main known case in South Africa was gathered on November 9 and spread rapidly there. To test for it, you need to initially get the specific sub-atomic outline of the new strain, US researchers are teaming up with South African researchers to get this going.
So researchers will have some starter information in a couple of days to know whether it will get away from antibodies.
How does COVID Variant spread?
Usually, a variant just acquires about one mutation for every three transmissions. It’s a very low mutation rate but here we’re seeing a massive jump by around 30 mutations that occurred concomitantly and that’s highly unusual.
What is worrying is not only that there are so many but also the specific nature because exactly those mutations that we have seen in previous variants of concern and now they occur all combined more or less.
New South Africa covid variant
That most vaccines build immunity against the high number of mutations that could help the virus evade immunity. Although that is not yet clear ten cases of the new variant in three countries have been confirmed by genome sequencing.
The first three were found in Botswana followed by another six cases in South Africa and one in hong kong involving a traveler from South Africa.One of the reasons virologists in South Africa are so concerned is that there’s been a recent rapid rise in covid cases in Gauteng.
The variant found in Botswana stressed scientists as they don’t yet know whether this new variant will spread more quickly than delta or how worried people should be about its potential to escape immunity. It is being studied closely and international agencies are now monitoring its spread.
What can be done to control the new COVID 19 variant?
Whenever any new variant emerges, it will take time to find an effective vaccine that will work on it. Tougher curbs are required to curb this new variant of COVID-19 including mandatory vaccination or covid tests for the use of public transport or entering places. Hospitals all over the world are struggling to cope with intensive care beds.
Portugal one of the world’s most vaccinated countries will give boosters to a quarter of its population by January. A booster dose is required to reduce the harmful effect of this new COVID variant. For this new variant of covid in US government is planning to ban citizens from Africa.